Magazine article Gramophone

Bruckner: Symphony No 1 ('Vienna' Version, 1891, Ed Nowak)

Magazine article Gramophone

Bruckner: Symphony No 1 ('Vienna' Version, 1891, Ed Nowak)

Article excerpt

Bruckner

Symphony No 1 ('Vienna' version, 1891,

ed Nowak). March, WAB96. Three Pieces, WAB97

Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra /

Gustavo Gimeno

Pentatone (F)[SACD (Super Audio CD)] PTC5186 613 (63' * DDD/DSD)

Should a composer's final thoughts be considered definitive? It's a question that often arises in connection with the works of Bruckner, and in particular the First Symphony, a composition which both musicians and listeners tend to prefer in its earlier 'Linz' incarnation rather than in the revised version Bruckner prepared in Vienna in 1890-91. The Vienna version, incorporating elements of Bruckner's later style, is considered by some as being stylistically incongruous and by most as a totally unnecessary exercise. However, it's an endeavour to which Bruckner dedicated a year of his life and, unlike the frequently played 1889 version of the Third Symphony, is entirely the composer's own work, unsullied by questionable advice from well-meaning friends and admirers.

Given the relatively small number of recordings of the Vienna version in comparison with the Linz, this spirited new version by the Spanish conductor Gustavo Gimeno, a former principal percussionist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, is therefore a welcome addition to the catalogue. …

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